3 Things I Ask My Son to Repeat to Me So We Have A Successful Outing

Hi again Moms. I know you’ve all been there. You and the rest of your family get to a destination with your son/daughter who has autism or another type of special need and the process has gone smoothly up until this point. Everyone got ready calmly, left the house on time, and now you have arrived as a family and are excited and think, today NOTHING will go wrong. Of course, it’s just when you think those words, that KAPOW everything goes wrong and spectacularly so! I have often told my husband don’t say all is fine until the event is over. I don’t think I’m being negative, but I truly believe that if we as parents think this, we let our guards down, our kids who are already anxious see that, and act out. Or else the little buggers are taking advantage of us, and don’t tell me kids with autism can’t! They are as smart as their neuro-typical peers, I tell you. Anyway, so this is what I now do and wanted to share this list with other Moms out there. It surprisingly works most of the time, and when it doesn’t, we leave in a flurry of noise and stress, but then that would have happened anyway if things went wrong, right?

3 THINGS I MAKE SURE MY SON KNOWS HE HAS TO DO TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL OUTING AS A FAMILY: (I MAKE HIM REPEAT THEM BACK SO WE’RE CLEAR):

1) STAY CLOSE TO MOMMY AND DADDY AND LISTEN.

2) NO SCREAMING, TALKING IN A LOUD VOICE OR RUNNING.

3) KEEP MY HANDS AND FEET TO MYSELF.

And if this doesn’t happen, he knows the verdict. We leave immediately. It has worked well overall. It only happened once I had to leave a children’s clothing store because he was acting up. He cried the whole way to the car and asked for another chance to go back. So far that hasn’t happened, but he’s been doing very well in grocery stores, the library and a bookstore near our house. So we’ll have to see. Consistency is something I’m learning really is key with all kids, but with ours ESPECIALLY.

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2 thoughts on “3 Things I Ask My Son to Repeat to Me So We Have A Successful Outing

  1. This is an excellent strategy which I have used a few times. The first time I used it I was at the grocery store and JJ was displaying behaviours that was making the trip a disaster. I called my Behaviour Therapist who told me that I needed to leave the groceries and walk out the store and that included the bag of milk that I needed for tomorrow’s breakfast. Feeling guilty, I put the perishables in the closest freezer and announced to JJ we were leaving. He was shocked and he picked up the bag of cookies in the cart which I told him we were not paying for. When we got to the car he was hysterical; however, the next time we went out and I warned him we would leave I had compliance.

    I admit though, there is a lot of anxiety I have following through with the technique!

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    1. That’s great. I’m glad you use this technique too, and hope it continues to work. And yes, it does provoke anxiety. I often think going out can be so complicated, but then I see it from Michael’s point of view, take a deep breath, and make some adaptations. When the rules are clear, we’re both more relaxed and better off in the long run.

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